AHSAA Class 3A, Region 3
2005 Record: 6-6 (4-3 Region)
When Mac Thompson accepted the position of head coach he became Calera’s third in as many years. Despite the team’s third-straight appearance in the playoffs, last season’s 6-6 finish remained a disappointing follow-up to the Eagles’ 11-1 mark in 2004. Still, Thompson believes Calera can return to a high level of play even with the transition from Class 2A to 3A. To help things along, Thompson has instituted a new set of schemes to get the most out of his players and give the Eagles a fresh look on both sides of the ball.
Junior Earl Haynes seperated himself from the rest of the pack at quarterback with solid showings in spring practice and summer 7-on-7 camps. An all-around athlete, Haynes moved under center from wingback in the old system. He will be backed up by Paul Winterbottom and Trent Posey.
Kaderius Lacey pairs good size (6-1, 205) with 4.5-speed as the No. 1 option out of the backfield. He’ll also line up occassionally at receiver. Junior Dominique Wilson is more of a power back who topped 100 yards rushing in the spring game.
Senior Chris Cunningham is expected to play a key role in the offense as one of the team’s top playmakers. At 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, tight end Brian Watts is a big target with soft hands. Seth Merritte is another solid option in the passing attack who impressed coaches with his development during the offseason.
Tyler McGlawn is the only senior on the offensive line. McGlawn is gifted with a rare combination of talent, size (6-3, 270) and smarts – with an ACT in the high 20s he’s even drawn attention from Ivy League schools. Freshman Dantwone King (6-5, 260) adds even more size to a solid unit that returns more-or-less in tact from last season.
Matt Brasher will start on the defensive line along with sophomore James Abernathy. Twins Larry and Garry Dugans could both spend significant time up front. C.J. Cohill and Danny Barefield could wind up seeing time on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Seniors Wendell DeMoss and Justin Bice join junior Matt Tracy to form a solid unit that should be one of the strengths of the defense. Offensive starter Lacey will also see time at the position. The linebackers will be agressive under Thompson’s system, utilizing an attacking style to make up for a lack of size on the defensive side of the ball.
With a background in track and field, senior Kevin Watkins is a fleet-footed cornerback who impressed coaches with his improvement during summer camps. Junior Timothy Doaty lines up on the opposite side with Nick Ellison and Justin Harris providing the last line of defense at the safeties. Calera is smaller in the defensive backfield than at any other position, but makes up for it with speed and smart play.
Carlos Gomez will handle most of the kicking duties with Wade Hyde slated as the team’s punter heading into the season.
Sept. 8v. B.B. Comer
Sept. 15@Mtg. Catholic
Sept. 29v. Shelby Co.
Oct. 13v. Mtg. Acad.(HC)
Oct. 27v. Lafayette
Nov. 3v. Weave